NIP interns face difficulties in acquiring jobs
Islamabad, Jan 20: Interns who have completed their one-year internship in different government organisations under National Internship Programme (NIP) are finding it difficult to get themselves adjusted in any public or private sector organisation on regular basis.
The interns have asked the government to devise a plan to adjust those who have got valuable training under NIP enabling them to contribute in national development.
Although, this programme was a unique initiative of the government to provide experience to the graduates on completion of 16-year education but they could not determine their future in long-term.
The internees are paid a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 during the internship period and awarded NIP certificate after successful completion of internship.
The programme gives opportunity to the young students to have rich working experience in department of their choice as well as earn a respectable livelihood. "I have gained sufficient experience while working in a media organisation but after completion of one year internship programme in 2008, I could not get permanent job", said Javed Iqbal an intern.
"Some of my batch mates were adjusted in the same departments where they had completed their internship but many others remain jobless", he said.
On the basis of one-year experience gained in a public organisation, I could not get a job, said intern Nazia Shabir.
After getting placement order, I quit my job of a private organisation which had offered me good salary for the sake of better learning opportunities.
But after completion of one year, there was no other option for me but to sit idle and wait for the next job.
Thousands of graduates are completing their studies and acquiring professional experience by induction into the National Internship Programme but after one year, they remained unemployed.
The government has planned to provide internship opportunities to 50,000 young graduates this year with special focus on the students from Malakand providing relaxation in the rules. The newsYour Comments
Candidates moving abroad for studies flay HEC
Islamabad: Higher Education Commission's (HEC) expensive and hectic online degrees verification process has become a permanent source of inconvenience for students, who intend to move abroad for further education or for the sake of job.
The limited capacity of attestation department of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the annoying behaviour of its staff are causing anxiety for the students who come from different parts of the country to get their degrees attested. Due to negligence on part of the authorities concerned, the commission has not so far devised any appropriate strategy in this regard, it is further learnt. Moreover, HEC has reportedly started fleecing the students in the name of hefty degrees' attestation fees. It is pertinent to mention here that when the commission was established back in 2002 there was no condition of fee submission for attestation.
Director Attestation and Equivalence department of HEC, Dr Abid Ali, when approached by TheNation, said that all dues being collected by the Commission directly went to national exchequer. To a query, he replied that tickets pasted on the students' degrees were quite expansive.
He said that they (Directorate employees) worked day and night to accommodate the students, so it was also their responsibility to come on time for this purpose. He said that it was wrong perception that HEC was accumulating profit through attestation process adding the students submitted thousands of rupees in embassies of numerous countries like the US and Saudi Arabia but they objected to HEC criterion for the same. Majority came at the last moment without proper documents thus creating hurdles for the staff, he added. Later, Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with a private television channel launched the second phase of the media scholarship programme.
According to a press release, after the success of first phase of media scholarships launched in 2008, in which 10 candidates from across Pakistan were awarded scholarships, 20 more scholarships have been announced for the second batch.
According to a press release, the programme has been designed to target those students who are striving for a better education but lack financial resources.
The scholarship covers the tuition fee for two years of Master's level degree in Mass Communication, Journalism and Media Studies from any public sector university. The scholarship recipients will comprise 10 male and 10 female students. On completion of their education, the successful candidates will be offered a one-year job contract with the television channel in their desired department.
The deadline for submitting application is February 13, 2010. The nation
School zone traffic chaos
Islamabad: Just as schools close for the day, the Pitras Bukhari Road in Sector H-8/1 becomes the scene of complete chaos, with hundreds of children streaming out amidst a sea of cars.
Children being children are seen indulging in dangerous and risky acts, some running onto the road without even bothering to look left and right, while for others, it's playtime on the road median.
Several educational institutions are located alongside this road that has complicated matters for everyone, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The situation is likely to get worse when a few more schools start operating out of there in the near future.
Only the other day, a small schoolgirl had a narrow escape when a speeding taxi just brushed past her, as she tried to cross the road. Who is to be blamed? You cannot blame the girl, as she is just a child. The cabbie couldn't be blamed, for he was signalled to go through by the cop. The school authorities wouldn't take responsibility for what goes on outside the premises.
So, who then would be responsible if God-forbid, a child were hit by a motorist, many of who wouldn't bother to stop and let children cross the road? An estimated 20,000 children attend different schools in this area and with no proper transportation system available, there's a car for almost every child's pick and drop.
Clearly, the situation calls for immediate measures like the introduction of a proper transport system, widening of the road, making parking areas available, and most importantly, special points for children to cross the road safely.
The school authorities and officials of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) claim that they regularly guide students on how to cross the road. "Our education teams visit schools where they teach children on this aspect and others," said ITP Sub-Inspector Muhammad Iqbal.
Parents have demanded that special crossing points be made for children that should be manned by volunteers or ITP staff. "The school management should educate students on using those particular spots for crossing the road," said Humaira Akhtar, whose kids study in the same area. She suggested putting up pedestrian bridges and pedestrian signals.
Ali Anwar, principal of the City School, Capital Campus, told 'The News' that numerous suggestions to improve the traffic system on Pitras Bukhari Road are under consideration. These include a proper transportation system and widening of the road by reducing the width of the median.
To solve the problem, Anwar said that coordinated efforts were required to evolve a comprehensive plan. Appreciating the efforts of ITP, he said, the school administration was in constant contact with them to ease the flow of traffic in this area. He, however, rejected the idea of pedestrian signals, saying that these would only add to the chaos. The news
AIOU TV channel
Islamabad: The FM radio station of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), "Voice of AIOU" has started broadcasts and soon the university would launch satellite based television channel, said AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mehmoodul Hassan Butt on Tuesday.
He was addressing the prize distribution ceremony of weeklong training workshop titled "Educational Script Writing for Radio/TV" arranged by the Institute of Educational Technology, AIOU.
Butt said "Voice of AIOU" could be listened on frequency FM 91.6 within 40 kilometers limits of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Butt said more than 1.6 million students had gotten degrees and certificates from the AIOU, which was not only the biggest University of the country but enlisted among four mega universities of the world.
The VC said the future of distance learning and informal education system was bright in Pakistan.
He said radio and television could play pivotal role in education and the script writing for educational programmes needed very care and responsibly.
Institute of Educational Technology Director Qasim Haider said JAICA (Japan), Korea and UK assisted the university in provision of modern equipment and technologies. Daily times
Spirit of book reading
Islamabad: The book ambassadors appointed by the National Book Foundation (NBF), Ministry of Education, to inculcate the reading culture is a unique initiative towards reviving the lost spirit of book reading.
The advent of Internet and mobile phones with latest functions has greatly impacted the book reading habit and concerted efforts are needed to invoke the urge for literature.
The book ambassadors were nominated from various sections of famous intellectuals, writers, showbiz artists and cultural personalities from across the country.
An official of NBF said various eminent personalities have been selected to instil the reading habit, as they hold influence to further the cause of the reading culture in society. Making them ambassadors can generate activities like 'reading festivals'.
Luminaries like Amjad Islam Amjad, Mansha Yad, Iftikhar Arif, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Talat Hussain, Atta ul Haq Qasmi, Ubaidullah Baig, Sania Saeed, Sadia Imam, Shabnam Shakil, Kazi Javed and many others are among these ambassadors, the official said.
NBF also held a Book Ambassadors Conference in which these book ambassadors discussed ways and means as to how our youth can be brought back to the golden period when books were valued and reading was considered a productive pastime. It was quite a good interaction and was given ample coverage both on electronic and print media.
The surveys conducted all over the world suggested that the book reading habit is on the decline, and countries like China and the US are taking concrete steps to improve the situation. Excessive use of computers, pricey books and the ever-increasing friction between human relationships are the reasons for the declining trend of book reading.
Besides, NBF is launching a series of innovative projects that include setting up Village Book Clubs, City Book Clubs, Children's Book Clubs, Prisoners Free Minds Book Clubs, Senior Citizens Book Clubs, Travellers Book Clubs (Books on Wheels), Flying Book Clubs and Hospital Book Clubs.
NBF has already set up 10 village book clubs in Sindh and Northern Areas. Similarly, a book club has been set up in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi where prisoners can now read any book of their choice. A book club for children at the PIMS Children's Hospital is already underway.
The selection of books and allocation of space for that club have been carried out and soon a formal launching ceremony will take place.
For Books on Wheels (Travellers' Book Club), NBF is holding correspondence with Railways officials and very soon, NBF will set up its book clubs there. The news
Short training courses
Mansehra: Under the agreement signed between the National Vocational Technical Education Commission (NAVTECH) Islamabad and Hazara University Mansehra, the youth of this region would be provided a short course facility.
Arrangements in this regard, have been finalized to make the program a success.
The Youth of this area would be imparted training in hotel management and tourism so that they could earn their livelihood in an effective manner.
The selected candidates would avail the opportunity to join the three-month program, aimed at minimizing the unemployment among the youth of this part of the region.
According to the Vice Chancellor of the varsity, Prof.Dr.Ahsan Ali, some 80 students would be imparted training of the courses initially being started for them.
The VC said that participants of the short courses would also be provided stipend, while the books and other related material would be an additional facility for them. APP
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